Friday, February 10, 2017


My mother has cancer

She told me yesterday

Now it’s a waiting game

But somehow

The word, “game”

Does not fit

With the words

In this poem


The thoughts racing

Through my mind!


The nurse is getting ready

To push needles

Into my mother’s veins 

The surgeon

Is gathering his tools

To cut on the body

That once gave me life

That held me for 9 months

Felt me kick inside it!

Then comes

The weeks of

Radiation waves

Burns and blisters

My mother’s skin tissue

Will look like it was dipped

In nuclear run off

From Chernobyl

Or Fukushima

She will feel like

A thousand ants are

Crawling and biting

Under her skin


A thousand Bees

Stinging its surface!

Whatever the future

Might be?

My mother

Will suffer


There is nothing

I can do to stop it!


I feel as I wait

As she waits

As we all wait

Not knowing

What will come?


At the same time

Knowing with all certainty

What eventually will!

None of this is an easy place

To be!

Not for her

Not for me


Sometimes the tools

You need

Tool survive the hard times  

Are right in front of you

You just have to look!

Three weeks before my mother

Was diagnosed

I ordered

Susan Sontag’s Masterpiece

“Illness As Metaphor”

The book arrived two days


My mother told me

She was ill 

The irony in this

Was not lost on me


My mother

Was living

With death living off her

She was the host

It was the unwelcome guest

She never knew was there!

Weeks earlier

One night

Flipping through channels

I came across

A documentary on Susan Sontag

Her own battle with cancer


The book she wrote about

This horrible disease

I was taken by Sontag’s fight

Her will

To beat impossible odds


I ordered her book

Not knowing at the time

It was a tool

Sent by the Gods

By angels

By the Stars

By the universe 

Words to give me guidance

Words to hold onto

While holding my mother


Facing each day

I have

With her!

Seeing each moment

As precious moments

That undoubtedly

One day will end

But for now to

Cherish these

Blocks of time

That are given to me! 


We only have so many days

In this world


We have even less

With the ones

Who’ve brought us into it!

From my book, When The Cedars Shade Your Grave

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